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Food Festival

The 12th Annual Good Food Festival & Conference is coming up March 24-26 in Chicago! The Midwest's annual celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement is presented by FamilyFarmed, a leader in promoting locally and sustainably produced food for almost two decades.

The Good Food Festival & Conference will bring together regional and national leaders in local, sustainable food — from farmers to chefs, entrepreneurs to policy makers — to discuss the movement that’s transforming the way we eat.

Held at UIC Forum on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, the three-day symposium will feature speakers, panel discussions, cooking demos, workshops and more! “Our goal always is to make each year’s Good Food Festival & Conference better than the last,” says Jim Slama, FamilyFarmed’s founder and president. “That’s a high bar. We set a record in 2015 with more than 5,000 attendees, including numerous leading national, state and local policy makers. The 2016 event again will be a must-see for anyone with an interest in a healthier, more sustainable and economically vibrant food system.”

Kicking off on Thursday, March 24 (8:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.), the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference is a day that connects funders with food businesses seeking financing. The Financing Fair gives growing food businesses the opportunity to pitch their business plans, plus assists FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator, a program that each year helps nine competitively selected entrepreneurial food and farm businesses get ready for successful investor interaction.

On Friday, March 25 (9 a.m.–7 p.m.), the Good Food Trade/School Food/Producer/Policy Day focuses on all of these areas, plus the Good Food Industry Showcase, in which more than 100 exhibitors are participating and where buyers and sellers make valuable contacts.

Culminating on Saturday, March 26 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) is the Good Food Festival, a family-friendly day of speakers, tastings from local food artisans, DIY workshops on the Organic Valley Good Food Commons, chef demos, an interactive Purple Asparagus Kids’ Corner, and the Good Food Marketplace, a show and sales floor featuring more than 150 farmers, artisanal food producers, retailers, other vendors, and nonprofit organizations — all designed to grow the Good Food movement!

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Participants & Speakers include: Michael Bashaw, president of Whole Foods Market’s Midwest division; Rick Bayless of Frontera Mexican Restaurant Group; Marc Schulman of Eli’s Cheesecake; Paul Kahan of One Off Hospitality; Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Katrina Markoff of Vosges Haut-Chocolat; Jason Hammel of Lula Café, Matthias Merges of A10, Billy Sunday and Yusho; Danielle Gould of Food + Tech Connect; Howard Tullman of 1871; Steve Hall of Accion; George Siemon of Organic Valley; and many more!

For a complete itinerary and full list of participating chefs, exhibitors and sponsors, please visit and read all about it on FamilyFarmed’s Good Food on Every Table website.

Tickets available at

Three-Day Pass – $150 (includes Thursday: Good Food Financing Conference; Friday: Good Food Industry Showcase -and- Networking Reception; and Saturday's Good Food Festival. Does not include access to Bus Tour or Master Class. $170 at door).


Good Food Festival – $10 (Saturday events beginning at 10am or later including exhibitors, the Organic Valley Good Food Commons, Chefs at Play, and Purple Asparagus Kid's Corner. Kids 12 and younger are free. $15 per ticket at door).

Urban Farm Bus Tour & Good Food Festival $90 (Ticket also provides access to Saturday Good Food Festival. No onsite tickets available. Leaves UIC Forum promptly at 9 a.m. and runs until noon).


Good Food Financing Conference – $95 (Student passes available for $45 – only currently enrolled students may purchase this ticket and student ID will be requested at check-in. $125 per ticket at door).


Good Food Industry Showcase: Trade, School Food & Policy Sessions – $45 (Student passes available for $20 – only currently enrolled students may purchase this ticket and student ID will be requested at check-in. Ticket also provides access to the Good Food Industry Networking Reception, 5 – 7 pm. $55 per ticket at door).

Good Food Industry Networking Reception$20 (Ticket provides access to the Good Food Industry Networking Reception only. 5 – 7 pm. $25 per ticket at door).


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